The potential role of amadumbe marketing for rural small scale farmers in Mbonambi Municipality.
Tembe, Prudence Ntombifikile.
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Involvement in agricultural activities has generally been the main livelihood strategy for rural people. This was also the case with KwaMbonambi and Sokhulu farmers, especially amadumbe producers. The research was therefore undertaken to explore the marketing opportunities for amadumbe in the Mbonambi Municipality under which KwaMbonambi and Sokhulu tribal areas fall. A research team was formed by five staff members from the Department of Agriculture including the researcher. Five research tools were used to collect data and these were questionnaires for formal retail shops, focus groups for processing centres, a transect walk to assess the land availability, sustainable livelihoods and force field analyses for amadumbe producers, From the findings, the formal retail shops and processing centres did not have a direct link with local amadumbe producers of KwaMbonambi and Sokhulu. Their produce came via agents from Durban and Johannesburg. Amadumbe producers on the other hand were producing amadumbe for their own consumption or to sell either to local communities (from the garden gate) or to hawkers in nearby towns. A recommendation was made that an amadumbe marketing forum be constituted in order to close the gap between formal retail shops, the processing centres and the amadumbe producers of KwaMbonambi and Sokhulu. Farmers felt that they could produce amadumbe of the quantity and quality required by the formal outlets if they improved their production amounts and marketing strategies.
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